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more durable than bread, and which the hatter
could be quite certain that either he himself would
want at some time, or that somebody else would want,
and he would therefore always be able to exchange
it for something that he wanted. All that is needed
for currency in a primitive or any other kind of
people is that it should be, in the first place, durable,
in the second place in universal demand, and, in the
third place, more or less portable. If it also pos-
sessed the quality of being easily able to be sub-
divided without impairing its value, and was such
that the various pieces into which it was sub-
divided could be relied on not to vary in desirability,
then it came near to perfection from the point of
view of currency.

All these qualities were possessed in an eminent
degree by the precious metals. It is an amusing
commentary on the commonly assumed material
outlook of the average man that the article which
has won its way to supremacy as currency by its
universal desirability, should be the precious metals
which are practically useless except for purposes of
ornamentation. For inlaying armour and so adorn-
ing the person of a semi-barbarous chief, for making
Into ornaments for his wives, and for the embellish-
ment of the temples of his gods, the precious metals
had eminent advantages, so eminent that the prac-
tical common sense of mankind discovered that they
could always be relied upon as being acceptable on
the part of anybody who had anything to sell. In
the matter of durability, their power to resist wear
and tear was obviously much greater than that of